Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Venice of the East?

From a tiny perch on a small city in the Paracel Islands, China has decided to give an administrative form to their rather expansive claim to own the South China Sea:

Sansha city was established in June as China's administrative base for the whole South China Sea area, including the disputed territories of the Spratly Islands and the Scarborough Shoal.

A bold move. And coming on the heels of the strong-arming of ASEAN (and thanks for that, Cambodia) to keep the organization from even mentioning territorial disputes--let alone siding with ASEAN states against China--this can't help China's image much.

As long as our military's pivot isn't just a marketing slogan, we have a role in making sure China doesn't get away with this sea-grab by making sure China's annoyed and worried neighbors know that arming up in response isn't a futile effort.

A city the size of an entire sea? Don't ever say the Chinese aren't ambitious.

UPDATE: Neighbors aren't happy:

Vietnam and the Philippines on Tuesday lashed out at China's moves to establish a military garrison in the South China Sea, amid escalating tensions in the disputed waters.

Marines in Australia aren't a bad idea, eh?